Basic Tips for Young Singers

Many of you would like to be better singers, and even for those of you who consider yourself to be mainly an actor, being able to sing will get you better parts. 

For many high schools, the best theatrical production they do is the high school musical. If you want to study acting in college, they will ask you to do a singing audition even if you aren’t a voice major. Most professional actors can also sing. 

Below are a few suggestions for you on how to become a good singer:

Sing as often as you can. Do vocal exercises every day. Practice in front of the mirror. Sing in the school or church choir. Sing in the shower.

Listen to yourself when you sing. Listen to yourself on tape. Listen to professional singers. Try to imitate different types of singers.

Learn about music in general. Learn to read music. Learn to play an instrument. Learn to harmonize.

Stand up straight. Don’t stick your chin out or hold it high — it should be in a natural, relaxed position.

Take a deep breath. Breathe from your stomach, not from your shoulders. If you don’t take a deep enough breath, you can’t sing loud enough or sing a long phrase of music.

Songs need facial expression and gestures.

Open your mouth wide. Pretend you’re yawning. Now pretend you have a tennis ball stuck in your mouth. That’s how wide you have to open.

Sing loudly. Everyone can do it. All you have to do is try. Some songs have softly sung sections, but in general good singers can sing much louder than other people. The volume supports the tone of the notes.

Use diction! It doesn’t matter how well you sing if no one can understand you. Spit out every consonant. Make the vowels big and round. Make every word clear.

When you are sick, rest your voice, or sing softly. Drink warm lemonade (water plus sugar and lemon juice). If you warm up slowly enough, you can usually sing loudly for a performance for at least a song or two. Sick or not, you should never strain your voice by screaming at a game, talking loudly all day long, or singing in a loud voice for too long. The more often you sing, the longer you will be able to sing at full voice. Your voice is a muscle and has to be slowly trained.

Sing with emotion. Use body and facial expression while singing. Without gestures, the audience will feel uncomfortable watching you sing. Come up with a unique gesture for every line of a song.

Make each note beautiful. Listen to yourself while you sing. Are you singing on key with the musical accompaniment? Is your phrasing smooth and natural? A professional singer doesn’t just sing the notes of the song. They shape each note by creatively using volume, vibrato and emotional expression. They listen to their own voice.